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Dividing Retirement Benefits in a Divorce

Are retirement benefits classified as marital property?

When filing for divorce in Florida, all marital property will be subject to equitable distribution. This most commonly includes any shared property, monetary funds, possessions and debts that were acquired over the course of the marriage. What most people don't realize, however, is that one or both of the parties' retirement benefits can also be included in the marital property—including, but not limited to, 401K's, 403B's, IRA's, Roth IRA's, pensions and profit sharing plans.

In most cases, the portion of retirement benefits that was earned during the marriage will be the only portion included; any benefits that were earned prior to the marriage may be excluded as a non-marital asset. If the non-martial portion of one party's retirement benefits has appreciated over the course of the marriage, however, this could also be included as martial property.

Can each party choose to keep their own retirement benefits?

In some cases, it may be easier for each party to simply keep the retirement benefits that they, themselves have earned over the course of the marriage—if they are of similar type and value. In other cases, however, only one party has contributed these benefits to the marital property.

Under these circumstances, the other spouse would have one of two options: request an equitable share of their spouse's retirement benefits or waive their right to these benefits in exchange for other assets of similar value. The specific nature of each couple's divorce will be different, so it is highly recommended that you discuss your options with the lawyer from Charles E. Willmott, P.A. when you are negotiating an equitable distribution of assets with your former spouse—even if you have decided to partake in a collaborative, or uncontested, divorce.

Contact Charles E. Willmott, P.A. today!

If you have made the decision to legally end your marriage, it is imperative that you retain competent legal counsel. Negotiating a fair and equitable distribution of property can be difficult without an attorney by your side, so the legal team at Charles E. Willmott, P.A. encourages you to find out how I can help.

Whether you have questions about what does and doesn't qualify as marital property or you are wondering how to initiate a flat-fee divorce, my firm has the answers that you are looking for. My firm's board-certified divorce expert can walk you through the complexities involved in your case and ensure that all of your legal needs are addressed with swift and diligent attention.

All you will need to do is give me a call today at (904) 849-5183 to learn more.

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